Paul Allen to Bid in FCC Wireless Airwaves Auction

Airwave auction draws applications from a diverse group from Google to Chevron to AT&T
By Jim O'Neill,  Newser User
Posted Dec 19, 2007 9:57 AM CST
Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen arrives at the annual Allen and Co.'s media conference in this July 13, 2007 file photo, in Sun Valley, Idaho. Allen will sell a large portion of his stake in DreamWorks...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen is joining the competition for wireless airwaves being auctioned by the FCC next month. Allen’s firm, Vulcan Spectrum, applied, as have Google, Verizon, AT&T and others, to bid for the 700-megahertz spectrum that goes on the block Jan. 24, reports Reuters. Allen's investment company, Vulcan Capital, also holds a majority stake in Charter Communications, a cable operator.

Broadcasters are releasing the spectrum as they move to digital signals. Operators covet the spectrum because signals can penetrate walls and travel long distances, opening up opportunities for mobile web applications and operators. The FCC has accepted 96 applications to bid and lists 170 as incomplete. The auction will last weeks.